Dinner with the McCains

Guest 1: Hi Senator McCain! How are you?
John McCain: Better than I was in 1968 down a rat-hole in Hanoi, I can tell you.
Guest: Oh, I guess so…
Guest 1: So, what’s for dinner?!
John McCain: Unlike my ass, which was for dinner in 1969, we have some prime beef today.
Mrs. McCain: John, can you slice the meat, honey?
John McCain: Dear, if I can survive for five years in a prisoner of war camp, I can sure slice this meat!
Mrs McCain: And please pass the salt while you’re over there.
McCain: I learned, the hard way, that salt is a luxury we can do without.
Guest: Where’s the bathroom?
McCain: Try pissing in your pants, like I did in Vietnam!
Mrs. McCain: John! Stop scaring the guests! It’s upstairs on the left, past the map of Vietnam, into the room marked “Hanoi Hilton”…
Guest 2: Ahem, so, how’s the campaign going then?
John McCain: What campaign? Do you mean the bombing campaign over Vietnam?
Guest: 2: Eh, no, I meant your Presidential Election campaign?
Very long pause…
McCain: Did I ever tell you about my time in Vietnam?


Chinese fake Olympics

In astonishing revelations today, it has been revealed that every country in the world is receiving different media reports, television pictures, and images from the Beijing Olympics. The distorted reports are targeting different markets with different results, thus making a mockery of the actual results.

In the USA, they have been convinced that Michael Phelps, for example, has secured several gold medals and world records. In fact, his performances were filmed over several months and stitched together into an incredible montage of unlikely success. But only in the United States, or in countries with no vested interest in swimming, is Phelps a hero. In downtown Sydney, they are celebrating the Australian male swimmers, who remarkably held-off the great Phelps in every event. Similarly, in Togo, while they celebrate their first Olympic medal ever, a bronze in kayaking, Somalia, Mozambique, and Senegal were all celebrating the exact same triumph for the same event, thanks to digital wizardry.
“We just altered the jersey of the winning competitor digitally and in real time,” stated Olympic organiser Lei Ping. “It was very easy to do in an obscure sport like white-water kayaking. Equally, can anybody recognise individual swimmers from 30 metres away? I don’t think so.”

Justifying the subterfuge, Mr. Ping added, “For the enhancement of the great Chinese country, it behoves us to bestow joy and great celebrations on as many competing countries as possible. It is all in the desire to please and host a successful Olympics.”

Quite how they will handle the 100m sprinting is debatable, but in leaks to this blogger it has been revealed that there will be at least five gold medal winners, six silvers, and up to a dozen bronzes. (However, the GB runner will come in a galant seventh, which is all the nation expects.) How is this to be accomplished? Simple. Digitally-enhanced images can be skillfully developed for each individual runner in advance. The real race is run, but the images and results are manipulated on the fly by software and it all happens too quickly for anybody to notice. The results are then distributed to the target audiences. In Asia, a blindingly fast Saudi Arabian runner steals a bronze, in South America two Brazilians get medals, while in the USA market, nothing less than a full haul of three medals will suffice. When asked whether the ruse will be discovered, the organisers remained non-plussed. “How often will Americans watch anything other than NBC for their Olympic coverage? How closely will they scrutinise the foreign media? And, how interested are NBC in telling them the disappointing news, if a Jamaican actually wins the race?”, said a spokesman.

Other sports are beginning to take an interest. Fifa President Sepp Blatter, bemoaning soccer’s inability to award more than one World Cup every four years, and generally only to Italy, Brazil, or France, has stated his intention of having multiple winners of the next tournament. In 2010, there will be four winners, one each from Africa, Europe, South America, and Asia. By 2018, the intention is to convince a world audience that their country, and their country only, won the World Cup. Sponsors are delighted, because audiences will be boosted world-wide. Meanwhile, coaches get to keep their jobs, players get feted like heroes everywhere they go, and clubs get to plug their players across the world. Audiences will doubtless suspect something is up when their Brazilian neighbour celebrates equally as hard as his Italian or Dutch neighbours, but who’ll be bothered to notice when the whole world is happy?

Fears for reporter’s job after immense maths gaffe


“Fears for economy as one in five fail maths” screamed the ORIGINAL headline. 

Now, after some hasty revision, the headline reads “Fears for economy as more pupils fail maths”. Ahem.

In the original article, now revised to spare blushes, the reported just added (doh!) 4.5% to 12.3% and 5.7% to get 22.5%. It seemed like a satisfyingly large figure and just calls out for a major, hyper-ventilating headline that threatens world destruction and economic calamity. Quite aside from getting the figures completely wrong, the reporter drew utterly unsubstantiated conclusions from sparse data. How will a bunch of 17 and 18 year old failing in maths threaten the economy? Okay, he would argue that they’ll fail to take up courses requiring maths, like engineering and computer science. But, surely there are plenty of jobs left in journalism that quite obviously do not require the slightest grasp of mathematics!

China’s critics lack bite

Chinese people have a tradition of politeness, especially towards their elders or social superiors. It is very hard for them to criticise or say anything bad at all about the authorities. I just wish these critics of China would be more direct, less circumspect, and just come out and say what they’re thinking. There is way too much pussy-footing around the important issues…Here’s an example of politically-correct language and politeness gone to the extreme:

The ceremony [Opening Ceremony of Olympics] has also been strongly criticised by architect Ai Weiwei, who helped design the Bird’s Nest stadium.

Writing on his blog, Mr Ai described the ceremony as “a recycling of the rubbish of fake classical culture tradition; a sacrilegious visual garbage dump and an insult to the spirit of liberty; low class sound play that’s just noise pollution”.

He was directly critical of China’s ruling communist party, characterising the ceremony as “a showcase of the reincarnation of the Marxist imperialism; the ultimate paragon of an all embracing culture of fascist totalitarianism; an encyclopaedia that encompasses total defeat in intellectual spirit.”

Really My Ai, just come out and say what you are thinking! Stop evading the critical issues of the day! I mean, that phrase “all embracing culture of facist totalitarianism”, could you get more circumspect!?! Huh!

2010: A retrospective on the Georgian-Russian wars of 2008

In mid 2008, Georgia attacked the semi-autonomous area of South Ossetia in order to reclaim the rogue province for itself. Russia invaded South Ossetia, from North Ossetia, in order to defend the Russian minorities. The Ossetians declared independence, except for the small region of South Mariesbad, where a small majority of South Ossetians of Georgian descent declared their wish to remain in the motherland. But the tiny town of Gribli, set in the idlyic heart of South Mariesbad, tried forcing its way back into the South Ossetian embrace, rushed to declare their independence in turn from South Mariesbad. Not to be outdone, the family of Mr. and Mrs. Georgi Grabula declared their house on the main street of Gribli to be still within the territory of Georgia.

Meanwhile, the Abkhazians, sensing a weakness in Georgia, invaded the north west area of Georgia to expand their territory. Georgia, sensing that other’s sensed its weakness, ordered an attack on Azerbaijan, to support the Armenian resistance movement in Nagorno-Karabakh, in a show of strength. The Armenians, sensing that Azerbaijan would sense their weakness if they accepted support from Georgia, decided to support the Azerbaijani’s. The Georgian president called the Armenian’s a smelly race of ungrateful sheep shaggers. The Armenian’s thanked the president for his gracious compliments.

President Putin flew straight to the region, landing in the Georgian capital Tblisi. After a short conversation with the Georgian authorities, his aides realised they had made a terrible blunder and flew out again, very quickly. Declaring himself totally confused, Bush said the US would wait to see who won the war before commenting. The UN sent peacekeepers to the region, but they got lost in the confusion. Bob Geldolf held a “Find the Missing Peacekeepers” multinational pop concert. Eventually they were found picking on some stray sheep herders in the highlands of North Ossetia, where after a couple of years they set up their independent homeland of Upper Ossetia.

And so it goes on…